UK employers are putting hiring plans on hold until the current political impasse over Brexit has been settled, according to a new survey.

Image of the UK Houses of Parliament illustrates an article about Brexit and the UK jobs market

REC survey & Brexit: employers lack confidence to hire to tackle widespread UK skills shortages

The REC survey of 600 employers found that many companies were anxious to hire more staff to tackle widespread skills shortages but were being deterred to do so until Brexit had been resolved.Neil Carberry, REC chief executive, said: "A year of falling business investment and weeks of Brexit inertia mean no-one should be surprised that employers' confidence in hiring for their own business is now dropping."For months, businesses have told us that they were concerned about the general outlook for the economy. It is clear to us that this concern is now closer to home."The extension to the Brexit deadline gives us some space to find a pragmatic deal that will give the UK's businesses the certainty they need to invest and create jobs."But we cannot delay forever. It is in politicians' power to make the weaker data we see today a blip."Our labour market is strong. Giving firms certainty about a future deal that supports trade, jobs and investment would get the UK back on track."

IoD study & Brexit: business leaders want  the UK to follow Single Market rules on goods and services

Separate research published by the Institute of Directors (IoD) on Wednesday showed that a majority of business leaders wanted a Brexit policy that would see the UK follow Single Market rules on goods and services.The survey of 1,400 executives found that 60 per cent of them favoured following Single Market rules to ensure frictionless trade with the EU.Edwin Morgan, interim director-general of the IoD, said: "Businesses were told that by now a Brexit transition period would have been secured and we would have moved on to discussing our future relationship with the EU."That we have got to this late stage with so little to show for it is the cause of deep frustration and anger among companies.
"The decisions that parliament faces this week cannot be ducked. There are no simple choices, only trade-offs."While our members may be split on the question of another referendum, the preference for alignment to secure continued access after Brexit is clearer to see.

"Politicians who claim to prioritise the UK's future economic success must take account of the views of business leaders, who understand better than anyone the impact of the changes that are coming to our relationship with our largest trading partner."

Barclays Bank creates £14 billion fund to help SMEs cope with Brexit

Meanwhile, Barclays Bank has announced the creation of a £14 billion lending fund to help small and medium-sized businesses cope with Brexit.The fund will support loans and overdrafts to SMEs as well as a series of seminars across the country to give advice to business owners on subjects including exporting goods and hiring staff.Jes Staley, Barclays Group CEO, said: "Barclays stands ready to help local businesses in towns, cities and rural communities, up and down the country, during this period of uncertainty."Today's £14 billion fund, along with our broader package of support, shows our commitment to the local businesses that are the backbone of the UK economy."